Application of rumen microbes to enhance food waste hydrolysis in acidogenic leach-bed reactors

Bing Hua Yan, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Jonathan W.C. Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Effect of rumen microorganisms on hydrolysis of food waste in leach bed reactor (LBR) was investigated. LBRs were inoculated (20%, w/w) with cow manure and anaerobically digested sludge at different ratios, 0:1 (LBR-A), 1:3 (LBR-B), 1:1 (LBR-C), 3:1 (LBR-D) and 1:0 (LBR-E). High volatile solids (VS) conversion efficiency of 68% was achieved in LBR-E. Compared with LBR-A, chemical oxygen demand, total soluble products and total Kjeldahl nitrogen leaching of LBR-E were increased by 16%, 14.3% and 27%, respectively. Recovery of the highest amounts of ethanol and butyrate in LBR-E indicated that the metabolic pathway mediated by rumen microorganisms was favorable for subsequent methanogenesis. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the enhanced hydrolysis in LBR-E was mainly due to strong degraders, e.g. Enterobacter, Bifidobacterium thermacidophilum and Caloramator sourced from cow manure. Results demonstrate that rumen microorganisms rapidly degrade the VS and produce useful VFAs with high methane yields in subsequent methanogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-71
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date25 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anaerobic hydrolysis
  • Food waste
  • Leach bed reactor
  • Rumen microbes


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